The Null Talisman rework in 7.31d, which removed mana cost reduction from the item, has seen Storm Spirit slide back into mediocrity.
In just one day, the hero’s pick rate has dropped by more than two percent. His win rate hasn’t fared any better, dropping nearly 10 percent to hover at a sub-40 percent win rate as of the time of writing, according to Dotabuff.
7.31d’s Storm needs to find another way
The multi-Nulls build helped Storm carve out a reputation as one of the game’s strongest cores. Multiple pro teams elected to pick the hero in the first phase — a rarity for pure midlaners like Storm.
Even pro players have been having a hard time adjusting — but the problem is worse than ever before. Without Null Talismans or the old Kaya, Storm now has no access to ready mana cost reduction. As of 7.31d, that stat can only be found in the neutral item Fairy’s Trinket, as well as Arcane Blink, an impractical item for Storm.
Orchid Malevolence, once an essential Storm item, fell entirely out of relevance during the Null era. Even now, it gives less mana regeneration and has no intelligence gain, thus feeling far worse on Storm.
While Storm received no nerfs, this Null Talisman change has completely destroyed one of his most popular playstyles. It’s likely that the hero will need some time to recover — perhaps with the introduction of another mana cost reduction item further down the line.